Nuance Dragon Professional 6
Startlingly accurate dictation
£249.99 FROM Nuance, nuance.com NEEDS OS X 10.11.6 or higher
Dragon has hit peak accuracy with this latest version. We installed it and dictated right away, with no training, and were wowed by the results. That the training process from earlier versions has been sidestepped altogether is seriously impressive (this review was dictated and we made just one correction).
Switch to transcription and it gets better still. Nuance claims you can transcribe a single voice from an audio file without any training, but we went further, feeding it a 45-minute podcast. With no prep, it processed the file in under 15 minutes. There was no punctuation, of course – the participants hadn’t spoken any – but the words themselves were spot on.
This should appeal to students who can record lectures and transcribe them retrospectively – however, the price probably won't. Nuance wants £250 for a full new licence, and even £125 to upgrade is steep when you consider how good the last two versions of the app are.
If you write for a living, or do transcription work, you’ll be able to absorb either cost easily. If not, you might want to download the 14-day trial version and compare it to the dictation features that are built in to macOS first.
There's guidance on using your Mac with your voice.